5 Top Reads

Our Top Weekend Reads

The long-term consequences of the coronavirus, a significant election takes place in Ireland, and a look at Greece’s new foreign-policy crisis.

A resident rides a motorbike across an empty track.
A resident rides a motorbike across an empty track in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 7. Getty Images

The outbreak of the coronavirus in China continues to capture world headlines, but the longer-term consequences are just starting to be realized.

Meanwhile, Irish voters go to the polls in what could turn out to be one of the country’s most transformative elections in a century.

And now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union, Brussels must address serious questions about its future role in world politics.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


Investors look at a screen showing stock market movements at a securities company in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province on Feb. 3.

Investors look at a screen showing stock market movements at a securities company in Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province on Feb. 3.Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

1. Knock-On Effects of China’s Coronavirus May Be Worse Than Thought

The effects of the virus and China’s dramatic response are making themselves felt daily, from disrupted air travel to rattled supply chains and plummeting commodity prices that are hurting growth prospects abroad, Foreign Policy’s Keith Johnson and James Palmer report.


Foreign Policy illustration/Getty Images

2. At Embassies Abroad, Trump Envoys Are Quietly Pushing Out Career Diplomats

Several of U.S. President Donald Trump’s political allies-turned-ambassadors have sacked their deputies amid a culture of mistrust between politically appointed and career State Department officials, Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer reports.


Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (left), Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar (center), and Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald take part in the final TV leaders' debate at the RTE studios.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (from left), Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, and Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald take part in the final TV leaders’ debate at the RTE studios in Dublin, Ireland, on Feb. 4.Niall Carson/AFP/Getty Images

3. Will Irish Elections Lead to Unification?

Ireland’s populist Sinn Fein party could join a governing coalition after this weekend’s elections, possibly making Irish unification a priority for the new government, Foreign Policy’s Dan Haverty writes.


Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the leader of the Greek opposition party New Democracy, stands in a polling booth prior to casting his vote during general elections at a polling station in Athens on July 7, 2019.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

4. Greece Accidentally Steered Into a Foreign-Policy Crisis

Turkey recently signed a deal with Libya demarcating new maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean in a humiliating disregard of Greece’s territorial claims. But the Greek prime minister has done little to impede the process, Yiannis Baboulias writes.


The European Union flag is seen through a windshield covered with raindrops in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 15, 2006.

The European Union flag is seen through a windshield covered with raindrops in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 15, 2006. VALENTINA PETROVA/AFP via Getty Images

5. Europe’s Post-Brexit Future Is Looking Scary

The problems the EU is facing go far beyond Britain’s decision to leave and raise serious questions about Europe’s future role in world politics, Foreign Policy’s Stephen M. Walt writes.

Dan Haverty is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @dan_haverty

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